Atocha is a southeastern neighbourhood of central Madrid offering vibrant arts and culture, 2 national museums, a vast public park and plenty of shopping and dining. This district is a destination for the hip and bohemian, with national art museums, cultural centres and lots of tapas bars, restaurants and trendy sidewalk cafes. Atocha belongs to the Arganzuela district and is bordered by Calle de Méndez Álvaro, the Plaza del Emperador Carlos V and Calle de Pedro Bosch. Atocha is also within reach of the Centro, Retiro and Puente de Vallecas areas of the city.

The namesake railway station makes this neighbourhood popular among Madrid visitors, as it's a central transportation hub for the city. From here you can get just about anywhere you want to go, but for many, the area itself has plenty of attractions to visit and is a destination unto itself.

Atocha in Madrid - one of the highlights of 10 Most Popular Neighbourhoods in Madrid (Read all about Madrid here)

What are the highlights of Atocha in Madrid?

Highlights of Atocha in Madrid begin with its most famed feature, the Atocha train station, which is not only a travel hub for Madrid and the surrounding regions, but also houses a stunning tropical garden. Atocha is also home to 2 important museums: the Reina Sofia National Art Centre Museum and the Prado National Museum. After viewing the colourful flora at the train station, the paintings and sculptures at the art museum and the exhibits and artefacts at the Prado, you can head for the gigantic El Retiro Park that has a boating lake, elegant and artistic fountains that date back hundreds of years, and plenty of green space for running, playing and relaxing.

After seeing the sights, you'll want to grab a bite at a local bistro, tapas bar or elegant fine dining establishment. Looking to get your shopping on? Plenty of trendy indie boutique shops offer the latest in European fashion.

Where to eat and drink in Atocha in Madrid?

Atocha in Madrid is a neighbourhood that offers something for just about everyone, from international fast food chains to elegant sit-down restaurants and casual tapas bars. If you want great Galician seafood, head for O Pazo de Lugo. Looking for an outstanding wine selection paired with generational Spanish home cooking? Check out Bodegas Rosell just around the corner from the train station. If you want something from across the pond, you can try Latino cooking with a Central American flair at Rio Grande.

Ethnic cuisine is on full display here. Head for Pui's Thai Tapas for a unique Thai-Spanish fusion meal. If you're into the craft beer scene, La Caníbal is where you want to be. For something a bit more unique, head for El Brillante and grab some takeaway food like a fried calamari sandwich. These are just a few of the unique eateries Atocha offers.

What else is good to know about Atocha in Madrid?

Because Atocha is a central travel hub for the city, the streets get very crowded, so be aware that you will be dealing with a lot of people here, including both visitors and locals. It's important to be polite and respect local customs. If you're between destinations, Atocha is a good place to get where you need to be, fast. Atocha has a high-speed rail network that connects throughout the country and even to France. Travel from Atocha to the Madrid airport takes about 20 minutes by car, a half hour by commuter train and metro, or up to 40 minutes by airport shuttle bus.

Like much of Madrid, Atocha is mostly walkable, but wear good shoes. The district is accessible for people with disabilities, but individual points of interest may vary. Call ahead to ask about accommodation for a site you will be visiting.

Atocha in Madrid

Ubicación: Madrid, Spain